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Top 10: Great German classics

You don’t need to be a car enthusiast to know that the German motor industry is hugely successful, with major brands like Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche producing some of the best-selling models in their sectors. It’s been a remarkable journey for an industry that reinvented itself via the post-war relaunch of the VW Beetle.

So how can anyone realistically put together a Top 10 of Germany’s greatest classics, given how many cars there are to choose from? Well, we’ve done it – but if your favourite make and model has been missed out, we can only apologise. With such vast choice, it’s not been an easy task… so make sure you give us your own suggestions below!

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NSU RO80

What makes it great? With styling that still looks contemporary, plus innovative rotary-engine power, the RO80 is uniquely brilliant

Launched in 1967 and crowned European Car of the Year, the RO80 was a highly-aerodynamic, front-wheel drive saloon powered by a Wankel-designed rotary engine – a  twin-rotor unit pushing out an impressive 113bhp. But it cost its maker so much (both financially and in terms of reputation) that the NSU marque ended up being killed off by owner VW-Audi in 1977, when the last RO80 rolled off the line. In the end, just 37,398 RO80s had managed to find buyers during its decade-long career. It was a sad end for a car that was genuinely ground-breaking in its design and engineering.

Read our NSU RO80 review here

Comments

Geoffrey New    on 18 September 2016

I purchased a 300 SL new in May 1986, collected it from the factory, ran it in for two weeks in the Alps, returned fo Stuttgart for a first oil / filter change & check up. All perfect. I still have the car, it is in excellent condition, now a classic & only driven in good weather. Due to its quality build it is one of the cheapest cars I have ever run. Things do not go wrong. 30 plus years of excellent driving. So pleased with it I purchased an SL 320, which I still have, it is equally as good. They build a superb product. Service them correctly, look after them, store in a dry ventilated garage and you have excellent reliable driving for life.
Geoffrey New........ gmn2008@hotmail.com

Mike Hallett    on 19 September 2016

So the G-Wagen doesn't qualify in your estimation? Hmmm! And yes, I do realise it's actually built in Austria, but that doesn't stop it being Germanic. ;-)

Edited by Mike Hallett on 19/09/2016 at 20:32

Tony Murray    on 22 September 2016

What? No Karmann Ghia?

Alan Barnes    on 15 May 2017

The Mercedes ,or should I say Daimler-Benz W126 was , and still is the best car ever produced in Germany [FACT !].Anyone who knows anything at all about automotive design and engineering will know this...it's a shame that "Honest John " does not.As for the others,you have pretty much covered the spectrum although I can hear Brum fans asking why the E36 M3 was not included .Perhaps it would have been easier to list the worst cars to come out of the fatherland instead....any suggestions ?

nickyd    on 16 May 2017

What about the NSU TTS?

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